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3.7.2024 | School of Business

“India offers huge business opportunities for Swiss SMEs!”

Interview with the two organisers of the special event in Olten on 27th August 2024.

Why are you hosting an event on 27th August 2024 for Swiss-based SMEs on “Explore & Discover Business Opportunities with Free Trade Partner India”?

Marco Casanova: “Because we are convinced that the Indian market offers very interesting opportunities for Swiss-based SMEs to grow their business. India is the most populous country, has a stable democracy, a steadily growing middle class and 50% of the population is under the age of 25. Most importantly, Switzerland has an excellent reputation in India and has recently signed a Free Trade Agreement with India!" 

Why is India such a good choice right now for SWISS SMEs looking to grow internationally?

Pieter Perrett: “After 16 years of negotiations Switzerland and its three EFTA partners Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland signed a Free Trade Agreement with India in mid-March 2024. No other European country has achieved this to date. Over the next few years, the agreement provides for import duties on Swiss products and services to be significantly reduced or eliminated in 95% of cases.”

Marco Casanova: “Furthermore the treaty is a clear sign that the Indian government is interested in strengthening business ties in between our two countries. This will undoubtedly lead to a significant reduction of bureaucratic hurdles in various fields when importing products and services from Switzerland to India.”

What topics will you be discussing at the event on 27th August 2024?

Pieter Perrett: “We have invited India experts and highly experienced business leaders to share all their knowledge on how to approach the Indian market. Swiss SMEs that are already active in India will also share their experiences. In addition, the results and findings of the latest FHNW studies on Doing Business in India will be presented and discussed in depth with experts from the Swiss-Indian Chamber of Commerce SICC, economiesuisse and swissmem.”

Marco Casanova: “Furthermore we will also present the new FHNW Executive Programme for Swiss-based SMEs on «Explore & Discover Business Opportunities with Free Trade Partner India», which we have developed together with the Swiss-Indian Chamber of Commerce SICC and which will start in October / November with capacity building blocks and company visits in Switzerland, followed by a study tour to India in January 2025, visiting Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi for ten days and meeting various relevant stakeholders and potential future business partners.” 

What is the experience and track record of the Institute for Competitiveness and Communication (ICC) in respect of doing business in and with India?

Pieter Perrett: “We have a long-lasting experience. For the past 19 years we have been taking about 25 bachelor students from our business education programme to India, once a year for two and a half weeks, visiting three to four cities and engaging in in-depth exchanges with various stakeholders. A particular focus is on the aspect of Swiss companies doing business in India. This initiative is called «Focus India» and is fully integrated into the FHNW School of Business curriculum as one of the five International Student Projects (ISPs).

Marco Casanova: “Furthermore we are an educational partner of the Embassy of India in Switzerland. Whenever they receive the information that a business group from India is planning to come for a visit to Switzerland they bring us into the picture. Over the past few years, we have hosted various groups at the FHNW in Olten and designed tailor-made seminars and workshops and followed up with in-depth educational programmes both remotely and on site in India. Just at the beginning of this year, we spent three weeks in India, in five different regions throughout the country, giving presentations and conducting workshops.”

Explore & Discover Business Opportunities with Free Trade Partner India

Special event on 27th August in collaboration with the Swiss-Indian Chamber of Commerce

Programme & Registration